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Lactic Acid For Skincare 101

In most cases, acid and skin don’t go together at all. However, lactic acid is an exception. Despite its harsh-sounding name, lactic acid is an essential part of the human body. It is an organic acid that forms a colorless solution when dissolved in water.


Lactic acid assists with glucose production, cell respiration and energy production. It also happens to be a very helpful substance for skin health. Lactic acid can soften lines in the skin while removing dead skin cells and removing the baby-smooth skin underneath. If those benefits all sound appealing to you, here’s your basic guide to using lactic acid in your skincare routine.


Use a Lactic Acid Exfoliant With Care


Even though lactic acid is necessary for healthy skin, you don’t want to use too much of it. Using lactic acid exfoliators too frequently can irritate your skin. It can also weaken your skin’s natural barrier and leave it more susceptible to infection and inflammation.


Aim to use exfoliants and chemical peels containing lactic acid only once every week to begin. As your skin gets used to it, you may be able to use it every other night. Pay attention to how your skin looks and feels and change the frequency of treatment accordingly.


Choose Products With Less Than 10% Lactic Acid


When purchasing a skincare product containing lactic acid, check to make sure the concentration of the lactic acid is below 10%. Anything more concentrated than that may be too harsh for your delicate skin to handle. In this case, more is not always better.


Choose a Product That Matches Your Other Skincare Needs


When selecting the right lactic acid product, look for a formula that also matches your other skincare needs. For example, if you have sensitive skin, choose a lactic acid cleanser, toner or moisturizer that’s specifically designed for sensitive skin. If you have acne, select a lactic acid skincare product that’s formulated for acne-prone skin. If you’re worried about wrinkles, look for anti-aging lactic acid skincare products.


Always Use Sunscreen Afterward


Lactic acid can make your skin more sensitive to the sun and more susceptible to sun damage. To prevent sunburn or irritation from sun exposure, always apply an SPF-containing product to your face after using a lactic acid skincare product. You may choose to put on non-comedogenic sunscreen or apply an SPF foundation to protect your skin after your daily skincare regimen.

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